Have you ever rented a self storage unit? Whether you have one, or are just thinking of renting one, we have an important consumer alert.
A family is trying to salvage some of their belongings after almost everything they had was ruined in a rental storage unit that was supposed to be secure.
What happened to them should be a warning for everyone else?
Nate Browing opens his storage unit, "uh, the worst of it is still in here...."
Browning surveys what is left of the belongings he and his wife had stored for nine months while their house was being built.
"Those are mice droppings yes. in our toaster."
Mice, it appears, got into everything from cookie jars to baby bouncer seats.
"I was here and I went over and opened it, and as soon as I opened it, the baby seat was one of the first things in the pod and it was actually covered."
Nate's wife Rebecca say she was, "Devastated. I mean that's our baby's belongings and now it's ruined."
The Browings had expected secure, climate controlled storage.
But when their unit was delivered to them, "we found that probably 75 percent of the things were covered with mouse feces and urine."
This leads to a bigger question: what are your rights if your things are ruined while they are in storage?
The Better Business Bureau says that most storage contracts state the facility is not responsible for damage. Make sure you are covered by your insurance or by insurance you can buy from the storage company.
We contacted the storage company, which told us, "we pride ourselves on customer satisfaction. It is a standard practice for our storage centers to have regular pest control protection . We are working directly with the Browning's to resolve their issue."
One last tip: if you have a family heirloom, never put it in a rental storage unit or garage.
Bring it to a close family member for safekeeping or if its small, a safe deposit box at the bank.